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Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Progress, A Finish and Another Start

Over the weekend I go fed up with the projects I was working on and decided to do a one day project. Our coonhound ate a few of our ornaments this past season, so I decided to whip up a couple of replacements. I found these patterns in one of the magazines I have lying around. I think I might do a few more ornaments this year - they were very satisfying :-).

Since then I found some time to stop by the LNS and get a few more supplies (as if I needed more). I started on a new project just to see how I like working with some other materials. I started the Shenandoah project which is from another magazine that I had. I bought a few different skeins of Watercolors from Caron. Bill picked this skein for the project. It's coming out far better than I expected. I bought a laying tool so I could give that a shot. It's really bringing up the sheen of the silk! It's not a big project so I might be able to finish it this weekend. Although, I'm back working on the birds - I'm hoping to finish the first bird by the end of February. I can't get off on too many tangents!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Moving Towards the Head

This project is working up fast. I'm really enjoying the bright colors after the number of more monochrome projects I've done recently.

I'm starting the backstitching the green area of the wings and working in the yellow along the edge of that section so I can complete that before I forget where I am. The leaf in the upper left is almost complete also.

It's hard not to switch to another project, but I really want to get at least one of the birds done before I switch out. Maybe I'll get this one done before the end of February.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Work on the Birds

I'm humming along on the birds project. Last night I was able to get the backstitching done on the wings and start on the leaves and branches in the middle of the chart. I'm hoping to get a bit more time in tonight, but I'll be working late so I also might skip it for an evening.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Birds of Paradise

After working on the name tag yesterday, I decided to get to work on the two birds. I almost started a new project, but resisted the urge. Between yesterday afternoon and this morning I was able to finish all of the green feathers on the macaw.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Leetle Finish

This morning I finished my concept for the stitching retreat name tag. I stitched up a model to see how it would look. I had two ornamental shrubs that were conical on either side of my name, but DH noted that they looked like Christmas trees - so a small modification was necessary. I finished the stitching around noon. Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to finish it. Oh, and decide what to work on next.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Good Works

It's been a good week for sure! I finished a lot of testing at work this week and felt good about my job for the first time in months. I was finally able to get a good photo of Ellie - she's not a big fan of the camera. There was a dog club meeting, an orientation for Ellie's therapy dog group, a speedskating race and some swimming. And on Friday there was another of the local stitching group meetings.

At the meeting, I was able to complete most of the work on a gift I've been trying to finish. The rest of the work has to wait a bit. But I'm feeling really good about that.

Tonight I'm working on the design for the name tag I need to create for the stitching retreat at the end of March. I fear waiting too much longer - something is bound to come up. The retreat theme is "A Garden Party" and so I need to work to that theme. The other constraints are that I use the 6"x7" 28ct Carnation Pink Cashel Linen and the following thread colors:
  • DMC 307 - Yellow
  • DMC 341 - Periwinkle
  • DMC 917 - Magenta
  • DMC 989 - Green
  • DMC 3854 - Orange
  • Sampler Threads Simply Shaker Walnut
I have a few ideas floating around my head, but really no direction to take. I'm thinking I'd like to work in some special stitches, like Algerian Eyelets or Rice stitches. I'm not quite sure. I feel like it needs a bunny for some reason.

In addition to the name tag, I'm working on putting together a pattern from a photo of my friend's whippet, Willie. I promised her a while back I would stitch a whippet for her, but just can't find a pattern I'd like to use. She has plenty of professional photos of Willie. I'm going to give this design software I have a shot. It's tough. Everything seems to turn out tinged green. I think I may have to match the thread colors by hand. So far I've doctored the image to get a good head shot in the right resolution and have imported it into the pattern making software. This might be a bit more intense than I anticipated.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Another Finish - Yay.

This weekend I decided to make a little something for one of my coworkers. It was a short little project, but it made me feel awfully good.

I also was able to get in a ton of time on the gift I'm trying to finish. I was hoping to get it done by the end of the weekend, but gave up 1/2 way through Sunday because my hand were tired, friends were visiting and it was too nice to sit inside any longer.

This week is going to be insane with doggy meeting tonight, skating on Wednesday, another doggy meeting on Thursday and the stitching group on Friday. Oh but wait - that's stitching group on Friday! Yay. And I should be able to get more done on Tuesday. Maybe I'll get that wrapped up this week and move onto the birds *grin*.

Friday, January 11, 2008

2008 Monthly Project - 1st Finish

Last night I completed the first of the Quaker Odds from The Workbasket. It was a reminder that I shouldn't work on projects when I'm tired. Despite all of the frogging I wrapped it up and was able to get a little work done on another WIP. I'm really looking forward to the February one - but I have plenty to work on in the meantime.

I'm trying not to start another project and instead spend some time working on the other WIPs.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

No Stitching Today, but Good News

I wasn't able to get any stitching in, but Ellie and I did pass the entrance test for Sunshine Friends Inc. . SFI does doggy visits at nursing homes, group homes and other long-term care facilities. Before Ellie and I become full members I'll have to go to the orientation meeting next week and then attend three nursing home visits under the supervision of a team leader. The first visit I will be dogless and the second two will be with Miss Pants (as she is otherwise known - which refers to attire not methods of breathing - I don't know why - it just is).

I was pretty psyched with our performance. My nerves were running a bit high because Ellie has a habit now of trying to jump up to say hi. But she was very good once her training collar went on. So she is starting to understand that there is stuff that is OK in the flat collar and stuff that is not OK in the slip collar. Yay.

I'm really looking forward to my first visit with her.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Needle Works Group

Last night the new stitching club I organized met for the first time. It was a small group for the first time, but I wasn't sitting alone so that was a victory. A few people were planning to come but couldn't make it at the last minute. I'm expecting that the next meeting will be a bit larger.

We had a nice time. The chatter was pretty interesting and I was able to make some progress on my sampler project. I haven't had a chance to get a pic of that yet. I'm really looking forward to the next meeting in a couple weeks. It's a lot easier to get to this one than the one at the shop. I'll have to poke my nose around to see if there are other stitchers in the area so we can have even more fun.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Tangles and Frogs

I spent a good portion of yesterday undoing the work I'd done the day before on the Quaker Odds January pattern. I discovered, when I started stitching the center of the piece, that I had offset the C by 1/2 of a stitch. All of the work I had done after that was shifted. The entire left side of the project had to come out and the bit I had done in the center. In addition I discovered that I had offset part of the Z, Y, X, and W, so those had to come out. :-(

Fortunately I was able to redo most of the work I had done and complete the first part of the center. Of course, with all of that frogging I now don't have enough in the first color to complete the piece. I'm trying to do this entire pattern with scrap threads, so I'll just have to poke through my collection to find something suitable for the inner snowflake. I might have some white floating around.

So this is where it's at for now:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Stitching Groups

Last Friday was the bi-monthly stitch-in at A Stitcher's Garden. I've been going for over a year now and have really enjoyed the company. I've also enjoyed seeing all of the other projects people are working on. A bonus is being able to get odds 'n' ends that I need without making an extra hour long round trip.

This past week there were a few new people. It was a rowdy bunch to say the least! I didn't get much work of my own done because my project apparently picked up the spirit of the Damned Lighthouse Project resulting in my threads constantly being tangled. I also realized that I had miscounted by one in the middle of the border and so I had to frog a good portion of my work. At least I had company while I did it.

Tomorrow will be the first meeting of the stitching group that I'm organizing. It's going to meet in my local town hall. I'm hoping there will be a number of attendees. I'm not limiting the group to cross stitch or needlepoint. I'm sure there will be a few quilters from the area. It will be good to know some more local people who are into crafts.

I've updated the WIPs slide show with all of the projects I'm currently working on. I'm hoping to bag a couple of them quickly so I can focus on the larger projects again.

NOTE: Apparently it takes about a day for the new photos in my account to show up in the associated slide show.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

First 2008 Finish

I was hoping to complete this project before the end of 2007. Instead I ran out of the gold braid in the center and bought the wrong replacement color. So frustrating. Fortunately, I was able to swap the color at the store and whomp this out on 3 Jan 2008.

I really enjoyed working this piece since the meaning for each of the symbols is listed on the chart. I was able to stitch and learn.

This piece is Alchemical Romance (2006) by Ink Circles stitched on SilkWeaver's Winter Breeze 32ct cashel linen. The purple symbols were stitched in The Gentle Art's Royal Purple (0840) and the gold symbols were stitched in Kernik #4 braid color 202HL.

2007 Retrospective Slide Show

This slide show includes all of my finishes from 2007 except the one with the bad word. That one will just have to go unrecognized in the public space for now.

This was a good year for me and stitching. I joined a stitching group at my local shop, completed more projects in one year then ever before, learned some new techniques (hardanger & crochet) and was very inspired by the stitching group on livejournal.

2008 promises to be another good year. Next week the town stitching group I'm organizing will start to meet. I have a pile of great WIPs to work through and a fantastic stash to pull from. I think I'll get started on one of the WIPs now :-).

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year, New Location

I'm starting to move my livejournal blog over to this new location. I'm planning to focus this blog on my stitching and my dogs. Most of the migration will involve dealing with my existing photos. I did complete my first finish of the year yesterday and plan to get that posted over the weekend.